Lauren Smith said she could not stop smiling Tuesday afternoon as she walked through the doors to Lehigh Valley Business’ third annual Women of Influence awards at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, eager to receive her special recognition as the 2015 Woman to Watch.
“This is pretty big for me,” Smith said of the award that is bestowed to someone 30 or younger who steps up to help shape the Greater Lehigh Valley of tomorrow. “It’s a big honor, and I think it’s going to help my business tremendously.”
Along with Smith, who started Eleven Eleven Social LLC in July 2014, a social media marketing company in Allentown – who is creating a networking group for young woman entrepreneurs – two other women received special awards at Tuesday’s ceremony.
Andrea Funk, CEO of Cambridge-Lee Industries LLC in Ontelaunee Township, earned the Community Service Award for dedicating time and commitment in the community to help Greater Lehigh Valley organizations thrive.
Funk serves in a leadership role at United Way of Berks County and raises funds for Berks Women in Crisis, all while managing Cambridge-Lee and its 501 employees, and juggling life as a single mother of three young children.
Even as a child, Funk said, she “always did have a little drive,” but she credited her staff at Cambridge-Lee and the community.
“I just feel so fortunate to live in a community that is so supportive,” she said before the awards ceremony.
Lisa Fichera, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Phoebe Ministries in Allentown, earned the Lifetime Achievement Award for committing her life to making the Greater Lehigh Valley a great place to work and live. She joined Phoebe Ministries in 1978 as an administrative assistant in the human resources department and steadily climbed the ranks.
“I never looked at it [my job at Phoebe] as work,” Fichera told the audience of more than 400 people after receiving her award. “I looked at it as an opportunity to serve people.”
Women of Influence winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges who reviewed the nominees and gave them scores based on their achievements. They were honored for their contributions to their company, industry and community.
Besides the three special awards, these are the other 25 Women of Influence honorees for 2015:
- Laura Azzalina, Firstrust Bank.
- Anne Baum, Capital BlueCross.
- Ann Bieber, Lehigh Carbon Community College.
- Kathryn Brown, Concannon Wealth Management.
- Lynn Collins Cunningham, Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce.
- Lisa Daugherty, Victaulic.
- Pamela Deller, Lehigh Valley Style.
- Amani Duncan, C. F. Martin & Co.
- Barbara Green, Blue Mountain.
- Sara Hailstone, City of Allentown.
- Tina Hamilton, myHR Partner.
- Judith Harris, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus PA.
- Kate Hart Zayaitz, National Penn Bank.
- Jane Heft, City Center Lehigh Valley.
- Kassie Hilgert, ArtsQuest.
- Paula Margraf, Community Services for Children.
- Maureen O’Meara, Hampson Mowrer Kreitz Insurance.
- Elizabeth Ortiz, Cedar Crest College.
- Hope Pearson, New Tripoli Bank.
- Darlene Pors, H.T. Lyons Inc.
- Kristine Roddick, KingSpry.
- Kristen Sandel, Reading Health System.
- Pamela Shupp, Greater Reading Economic Partnership.
- Ann Williams, Penn State Lehigh Valley.
- Susan Yee, Active Data Inc.
For a link to photos from the event click HERE.
For a link to photos and bios of honorees click HERE.